June 2nd, 2010

Have you ever marveled at the various labels that adorn the packaging of the products you buy? Ever wonder what they actually mean and who the authority is behind them? If so, you may find the following resources useful for interpreting these labels and making your purchasing decisions.

Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, has created the Greener Choices site to inform consumers about environmentally-friendly products—their labels and claims. Particularly nice is its search-engine feature where you can run a search for a specific product, label or certifier.

Similarly, the November/December 2009 issue of Mother Jones magazine featured a chart of Eco-Labels with evaluative color-coding to denote “best of the bunch”, “better than nothing” and “virtually meaningless.”

Of related interest are the study reports issued by TerraChoice (an environmental marketing firm) that elucidate Sins of Greenwashing.